Our,’ Ten Minutes With,’ series of interviews gives businesses the opportunity to tell us how they’ve adapted in response to the Covid-19 crisis, what their experiences have been and as we continue to live alongside the virus and changing restrictions, what their plans are for business in the future
This week we’re talking to Evertonian Wayne Pearce and together with his wife Jo, owner of Eaglet Business Systems Ltd and ISOAims Ltd. Here he tells us how lockdown presented their businesses with new opportunities and how the last few months of 2020 will bring him another challenge.
Describe yourself in five words
Professional, outgoing – larger than life!
Tell us about your business?
At Eaglet Business Systems we provide consulting, auditing, and training in International Management Standards including the quality standard ISO9001 and environmental standard ISO14001.
ISO certification gives companies a competitive edge. If you’re going through a procurement process to win new contracts, it’s often the first thing a business or organisation looking to buy in services will want. Not having them can often rule you out from the start.
ISOAims is our easy to use software tool to give businesses and consultants a straightforward approach to managing their ISO systems.
What did you do before launching your business?
I worked for the Foreign Office and the Government which probably sounds more exciting than it should!
What’s the first thing you ordered on-line during lockdown?
Other than toilet roll – we ordered a green screen and transformed the spare room into an office where we could deliver all our client training and meetings virtually rather than face to face.
How did you cope in the first lockdown?
It was interesting yet also unsettling at times. Our daughter was due to sit her GCSE’s so that was an upheaval for her.
Business-wise, in the first two weeks – there was definitely the OMG factor in terms of: “What are we going to do?”
Having watched what was going on around the globe, and with friends and colleagues overseas, we thought a lockdown may be on the cards, so we sat down and went through a ‘what if …’ planning exercise. After lockdown was announced, Jo and I sat down and did for our business what we do for our clients. We went through our business continuity plan and worked through the processes
We shut our office at Lymedale, got rid of one of our cars, and transformed the spare room into a home office and virtual training centre.
We launched an online education training school ‘E-GLET’ to help clients achieve their ISO Certification, including standards such as ISO9001. Over five Zoom sessions clients receive all the documentation and information they need to get implementation ready.
Clients get the same level of great service, but we’ve automated much of the process, it’s slicker and I have to say the response has been fantastic. It’s gone so well we certainly won’t be going back to what we were doing before.
Are you going to do anything differently?
Absolutely, we will continue with the virtual way of working as it works so well and we won’t return to the office for at least 18 months not just because of Covid but because of another challenge I’m facing.
When I was young, I was diagnosed with a benign brain cyst and had to have brain surgery to remove it. Against all the odds, in fact my surgeon says he has never seen one like mine return, it’s come back in exactly the same place and I am booked in to have brain surgery again later this month to remove it.
I’m not allowed to drive until 2022 so our work will continue to be done from home but at least we don’t have the expense of running two cars now!
All our clients have been amazing, and Jo and I, along with our associate team have worked hard to make sure they’re all up to date ready for 2021, so we’re ahead of the curve.
While I recuperate, I’ll take a step back for the rest of the year and Jo and our fabulous associates will be supporting our clients and any new business. It won’t affect their level of service, it’ll just mean that post-November, until I’m fully fit, they won’t deal directly with me.
Have you learnt anything about yourself because of Covid?
I’ve always been an extremely positive person who lives life to the absolute max, but I think what’s happened, has reaffirmed that you really shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.
What are your plans for the future?
Well, I’ll be kicking this cyst’s butt and when I‘ve had the operation I’ll be raising as much money as I can for a local charity by doing a sponsored hair growth, as obviously, all my hair will go when I have surgery. Watch this space for details as I’d love to get as much support as I can from the business community.
Business-wise I’ve never wanted to relinquish control of Eaglet. We’ve got a fantastic team of associates who work with us. They have been incredibly supportive of both Jo and I and having this condition has made me realise that I need to let go a little and let them help us build and grow the business.
Our clients too have been phenomenal, and we’ve made sure that everything is in place for when I go off to have the operation.
And finally, what was your dream job when you were at school?
I wanted to be both an ice-cream man and a racing driver, but I couldn’t find a job that combined the two – so I ended up going down a different path. I still love ice-cream though!
If you’d like to be one of our, ‘Ten Minutes With,’ interviewees find out more by dropping us a line at email@example.com